PLANNING

Plan your spring fertilisation programme, irrigation scheduling strategy and book contractor for soils that have to be prepared in December/January.

VINEYARD PROGRAMME

Spring fertilisation if required

  • On mature vines according to leaf and soil analyses and vigour.
  • On young vines where vine development takes place and strong vigour is required.
  • In producing vineyards the last instalments must be applied before flowering.

Canopy management

  • Suckering actions must be completed before flowering.
  • The timing of folding in and positioning of shoots is very important, do not fall behind with programme.

Tipping/topping programme

  • Regular tipping actions are more beneficial than rigorous topping actions.
  • Tip shoots (‘uitskieterlote’) to promote even shoot growth.

Crop control

  • For quality cultivation, bunches on weak shoots (<80 cm) may be removed early (at pea berry stage) to improve shoot growth.

Disease and pest control

  • Preventive control for Oidium as well as Downy mildew if wet weather conditions occur.
  • Monitor pests before considering chemical control.

Weed control

  • If weeds become problematic, it is preferable to use registered scalding products.
  • Focus on the berms (‘bankies’) in particular to ensure that they are weed-free during the harvest.

Irrigation

  • Water consumption only increases from set onwards, and especially from pea berry stage.
  • Monitor soil water content and moisture stress symptoms in the vine.
  • If excessive growth occurs, and/or in premium red wine blocks, especially in the period between pea berry stage and vraison, deficit irrigation may be applied.

Vine development

  • Green shoot development on first to third leaf vines to form trunk, cordons and bearers.
  • Crop control in young vines is very important to ensure the life-span of good vines.

Cover crops

  • If dry, drag or roll flat – do not use shrub beater or disc.

FINANCIAL

Contact Gert van Wyk for information about:

Viability, cost and profitability analyses.
Participation in production plan/financial study groups (financial overview or industry branch analyses).
Economic and industry related articles.
Economic and industry related presentations.
Collection and dissemination of representative agricultural economic industry information.
Compiled by: VinPro Consultation Service

For more information contact Annamarie van Onselen at (021) 807-3027.

Motto: Cutting edge advice for sustainable wine production

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